US meningitis death toll rises to 30, officials say

The death toll from a meningitis outbreak linked to tainted drugs rose to 30 as the number of cases climbed to a whopping 419, US health officials said Monday.

Some 14,000 people in 23 states are at risk after having received potentially tainted doses of the steroid from the New England Compounding Center.

The steroid is typically injected into the spine to treat back pain but can also be used to treat joints and 10 of the cases reported by the were joint infections.

Authorities are investigating the NECC, saying its now defunct facility outside Boston made medications in unsanitary conditions with bacteria and mold so prevalent it could be seen with the naked eye.

Officials have said that due to the disease's long , it could be weeks before authorities have a final tally of the infections from the unprecedented outbreak.

NECC recalled all of its products on October 6 but the slow-moving infection can take 42 days, or even longer, to manifest symptoms.

Michigan has reported the highest number of cases—119 and seven deaths—followed by the southern state of Tennessee, which has 78 cases and the highest number of fatalities at 13.

Other badly hit states include Florida, Indiana, Maryland, New Jersey and Virginia.

The outbreak has led to calls for tighter regulation of the loosely controlled pharmaceutical compounding industry. have launched a criminal probe into the case.

Critics say drug manufacturers have found a way to sidestep costly and strict oversight by classifying themselves as pharmacies, which are given freer rein to mix for patients.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

US meningitis death toll rises to 29: official

Oct 31, 2012

Some 29 people have died from fungal meningitis they contracted after being treated with tainted steroid injections blamed for a growing national outbreak, US health officials said Wednesday.

US meningitis death toll up to 23: CDC

Oct 20, 2012

The death toll in the United States from an unprecedented outbreak of fungal meningitis linked to a contaminated drug has climbed to 23 people, health officials said Saturday.

US tainted drug outbreak rises to 185 cases

Oct 12, 2012

The number of people believed to have been sickened by a contaminated drug rose to 185 Friday, but US health officials said the death toll from the rare meningitis outbreak held steady at 14.

US meningitis outbreak death toll rises to 15

Oct 14, 2012

The death toll from an unprecedented US meningitis outbreak tied to a tainted steroid jumped to 15 after another person died from a fungal form of the disease, health authorities said Saturday.

Recommended for you

Can robots help stop the Ebola outbreak?

5 hours ago

The US military has enlisted a new germ-killing weapon in the fight against Ebola—a four-wheeled robot that can disinfect a room in minutes with pulses of ultraviolet light.

New bird flu case in Germany

5 hours ago

A worrying new strain of bird flu has been observed for the first time in a wild bird in northern Germany, the agriculture ministry said Saturday.

Mali announces new Ebola case

Nov 22, 2014

Mali announced Saturday a new case of Ebola in a man who is fighting for his life in an intensive care unit in the capital Bamako.

Plague outbreak kills 40 in Madagascar: WHO

Nov 22, 2014

An outbreak of plague has killed 40 people in Madagascar, the World Health Organization said, warning that the disease could spread rapidly in the country's densely populated capital Antananarivo.

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.